Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has taunted Congress for not having an agenda as the leading Opposition party. However, the Bihar CM denied there is any threat to the ruling Grand Alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress in Bihar. Nitish’s support to BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind has created an apparent rift in the Grand Alliance. At a meeting of JD(U) leaders in Patna on Sunday, Kumar had blamed Congress for the ongoing mess in the Opposition. Kumar said that Congress was to be blamed for the current predicament the Opposition was in. Kumar said that a “sangh-mukt bharat” would be possible only if all the Opposition parties are united. He had also attacked the Congress for not having an alliance in UP and Assam. Kumar’s Sunday jibes at Congress gave credence to the speculations over possible grand-alliance break-up in Bihar.
However, while addressing reporters on Monday, Kumar denied that grand alliance is heading for a split or there is any threat to it. But the Bihar CM didn’t spare the Congress either, blaming it of not having an agenda and hinting that Congress could be the reason why the Opposition is not united today.
“What I said during party meeting yesterday was in a particular context, don’t interpret it differently,” Kumar said. On Congress and the need of an alternate agenda, Kumar said, “I have said it earlier also that Congress is a big party. It should set an alternate narrative and agenda for the country, just reactive narrative will not work.”
The Bihar CM denied there is any chance of him being declared as PM face of Opposition in 2019. “I have said earlier also that I am not the PM face of Opposition in 2019, neither am I eligible.”
Kumar had not attended the midnight launch of GST at the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday, raising speculations that it was a snub to the Centre. However, Kumar said, “There was no invitation, so where is the question of attending or skipping?.”
On Sunday, JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh had said his party was moving on its own agenda, not following others on matters concerning the country. Singh asserted, “When we (JD-U) were part of NDA, we had supported UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee. Now we have supported Ram Nath Kovind as an individual and not extended its (JDU’s) support to BJP… We had also supported demonetisation. We are moving on our own agenda. We are not ‘Pichhlaggu’ (riding piggyback).”